France's AXA insurance posts 12% profit surge

GMT 13:55 2015 Wednesday ,25 February

Arab Today, arab today France's AXA insurance posts 12% profit surge

CEO Henri de Castries presents
Paris - AFP

French insurance group AXA, number two in Europe after German giant Allianz, posted a 12 percent profit surge in 2014 to 5.02 billion euros ($5.7 billion), a statement said Wednesday.
The insurer will propose a dividend of 95 euro cents per share, a 17 percent increase over that of 2013, it added.
The result, attributed to strong sales in the group's life and savings businesses, however fell short of analysts' predictions averaging 5.22 billion euros.
Operating profit reached 5.0 billion euros for the first time, a 7.0 percent increase over 2013, the company said.
The group also benefited from an increase in the accounting value of its financial assets and lower restructuring costs.
The upbeat announcement boosted the group's share price by 3.31 percent to 22.14 euros in mid-morning trading on Wednesday in an otherwise steady French bourse.
Turnover was up 1.0 percent to 92 billion euros.
The return on equity decreased slightly, by 0.3 percentage points, to 14.5 percent, but remained on target.
"We are well positioned to successfully conclude our (five-year strategic) plan in 2015," the group's financial director, Gerald Harlin, said in the statement.
"We will continue to diversify our geographical footprint and business mix, as well as further improve our operational efficiency, which should help us perform well even in a low interest rate environment."
The group has realised 1.6 billion euros in savings since 2011, and has raised its cost-cutting target to 1.9 billion euros from 1.7 billion euros by the end of 2015, CEO Henri de Castries told a news conference.


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